Katelyn Walzer Publishes Landmark Paper in "Nature"

MGM/UPGG alum Katelyn Walzer, who trained with Dr. Jen-Tsan Ashley Chi and is now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, recently published the article “Transcriptional control of the Cryptosporidium life cycle” in Nature.

In this landmark paper, Dr. Walzer and colleagues utilized single-cell transcriptomics to build the Cryptosporidium single-cell atlas, revealing the gene expression program across the entire life cycle of this eukaryotic parasite, which causes deadly diarrheal disease. Additionally, Dr. Walzer identified the determinant of maleness for this pathogen, a transcription factor called Myb-M. Her ability to block both continuous infection and transmission of the parasite by ablation of Myb-M highlights the importance of sexual reproduction as a target for intervention.

In future studies, Dr. Walzer is interested in understanding how Myb-M drives male fate and how transcription factors regulate stage-specific differences throughout the parasite life cycle.